It is a great burden, pain. An adversary of many kinds.
The Physical, a visceral and tactile adversary, gnaws at the body and frays ones capabilities.
When young, we fall and scrape our knees. The burn is felt and tended to, mended by time and care.
When we grow into our own, learning ourselves, we play games or fight, incurring more severe and lasting injuries. These are the grounds in which we learn our limits, paid for with blood and gritted teeth.
These heal with time, though they might haunt us as we age.
When older, some may even say “When we grow up”, we feel our pains more acutely. Time begins to wear on us, albeit slowly, and we creak and groan.
In these pains, those that linger and do not simply heal, we squint and bear their burdens as we continue, incurring ever more with the passing of time.
When we are old, (who is to say when that occurs), physical pains become severe. Falls can be catastrophic; Scrapes? Deadly.
But even so we persevere, sometimes to the very end. The Physical is an adversary you can face. You see it and it stares back at you. An honorable foe.
There is another pain, ghostly yet malleable. No less acute, we feel it still. Mental or emotional, depending on who you ask. It is an adversary that often hides from us. We may find it lashing out at us, visible to us and others, but often its presence is passive. Lurking.
They and their many companions create holes in us. Some piece of our whole we have yet to observe. A web of electrical wiring made sentient.
Those mental pains take hold and are difficult to mend or heal. We trip and fall into situations no one could have ever prepared us for. We hurt ourselves so often and deeply that the cumulative patchwork of holes that is us seems tattered and frayed beyond repair or recourse.
Those are the most difficult I find to navigate.
Pains I cannot see or act upon.
Ones I have to turn inward to see, only for a moment, as if from the corner of my eye.
A flash of color from a passing songbird in flight.
I think, sometimes, that those pains are a surety that will never leave me.
But there are those who are there to guide us through those pains. Those we love, friends, partners, siblings, they often see that patchwork soul more readily than we ever could.
Apart, we rarely find refuge from this Silent Assailant. Physical healing is one that we are reliant almost entirely upon ourselves for. But for us, mending those pieces inside us is not a thing done in isolation.
We are all Patchwork Souls. We find another, tattered as we are, and we heal together. Sometimes we scar, but we still feel that pain from time to time.
I think we, as we are, don’t ever fully heal on the inside. Those holes never truly mend.
Not all the way.
We are Patchwork Souls, and we layer one atop another. We weave within and without, finding comfort amongst others like us. Those tattered and broken may be sewn again, but each piece of us, or each patch, is never the same. Sewn through us are many threads both of ourselves and of those around us.
I think we make each other a little less full of holes each day, lending what we can so that others might heal.
Together, stitched as we are, we might weather the storm. So long as we remember that we are not alone.
Many Patchwork Souls upon a tempestuous, painful, storm.
This is dedicated to my wife, my friends, and my family who help get me through my own pains. I carry a thread of each of you with me.